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This recipe will explain how to cook a the most mouthwatering, tender, and flavorful oven roasted Prime Rib with a delicious fresh herb crust and divine rich wine sauce. Everything you need to know to get perfect results is below.

Don’t be intimidated to make this expensive roast that is perfect for any special occasion dinner! This recipe works for any size roast. This is a standing rib roast recipe, meaning the roast is sold with the bones, but it can be used to make a boneless prime rib as well.

prime rib recipe
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Looking for other impressive main dish recipes? You can’t go wrong with perfectly cooked Filet Mignon, Smoked Prime Rib, or Broiled Lobster Tails.

Reasons to Make This Recipe

If you’re looking for the best prime rib recipe, look no further. This recipe has been viewed well over 2 million times and continues to be everyone’s favorite holiday recipe.

  • Best Christmas Dinner: Prime rib roast is an excellent cut of beef to enjoy for a special or holiday dinner. Why? Because you can buy various sizes of the roast that will feed anywhere from 4-20 people. Plus, by the nature of how prime rib cooks, you will end up with servings that range anywhere from rare or medium rare all the way to well done.
  • Worth the Cost: Prime rib is an expensive cut of meat for good reason. The incredibly tender cut is marbled with fat in all the right places to yield the most delicious beef roast you’ll ever enjoy. That being said, it can be rather intimidating to spend that much money on a roast if you’ve never cooked one before. Never fear; I will walk you through everything you need to know to achieve perfect results.
  • Amazing Sauce: During the cooking process, all of that wonderful fat marbling throughout the roast and the fat cap on top will render. I add wine and beef broth to the roasting pan that catches all of those flavorful herb infused drippings. Instead of making an au jus to serve, this amazing wine sauce gets reduced while the roast is resting.
  • Simple and Easy To Make: This recipe has always been my favorite because it is actually incredibly simple. You’ll find that the roast turns out flavorful and moist because of the cooking method and the herb crust. The rich red wine sauce is the perfect accompaniment.
roasted prime rib with herb crust.

Prime Rib Roast Explained

A prime rib roast is an expensive primal cut of beef from the ribeye section that can be purchased as boneless or bone-in. 

It is an extremely flavorful and tender, typically roasted whole, and known for its rich marbling and succulent taste.

They can usually be found at a local butcher, but during the holiday season, you can also easily find them at places like Costco and your local grocery store.

Boneless vs Bone-in Prime Rib Roast

A standing prime rib roast is sold with the beef ribs. It is referred to as a standing rib roast because the butcher separates the ribs from the roast but ties them together with kitchen twine. The roast stands on the bones, creating an insulating layer of protection.

The bones do not add to the flavor like they would if they were braised in liquid, however they do insulate the meat and are also quite delicious.

In my opinion, the perfect prime rib roast is cooked with the bones, but it is more common to find boneless prime rib sold in grocery stores and at the butcher shop.

Prime Rib Calculator: How Much Per Person

How much prime rib is needed per person is a very common question.

Prime rib roasts often range in size from 4-pounds all the way up to 20-pounds. 

  • Bone-in: A bone-in prime rib roast can contain anywhere from 2-7 bones. Since the ribs can be eaten and they add to the weight of the roast, they are factored into how much you will need to buy. Plan on about 1-pound per serving if you are buying a prime rib roast with rib bones.
  • Boneless: If you are buying a boneless roast, you can plan on needing a minimum of a 1/2-pound per serving. I always round up, however, because we have big eaters and love to make leftover prime rib sandwiches with caramelized onions. We also use the meat to make French Dip sandwiches or add it to a massive baked potato.

How Long to Cook Prime Rib

This recipe uses a very high heat to first sear and seal the roast which creates a flavorful crust. Then, the heat is lowered and the roast continues cooking in the oven.

For that reason, this recipe does not take that long to cook, but the total cooking time completely depends on a number of factors: 

  • size of the roast
  • starting temperature of the meat
  • consistency of the oven
  • final desired temperature of meat (rare, medium rare, etc.)

Using this recipe, a 5-pound roast will only take about 2 hours to roast, plus rest time. 

For larger roasts, estimate an additional 10 minutes per pound.

Juicy prime rib roast cooked medium rare.

Prime Rib Temperature

You must have a good thermometer in order to properly cook a prime rib roast. 

Because I do not want to open the oven door while the roast is cooking, or pierce the roast to allow the juices to escape, I do not recommend using an instant-read thermometer.

Instead, I recommend using a meat thermometer that is inserted into the thickest part of the roast and designed to track temperatures over an extended period of time.

  • Plan to remove your prime rib roast from the oven when it is at 10 degrees below your desired final temperature.
  • The final prime rib temperature for rare meat is 120-125°F, medium rare is 130-135°F, and well done is 140-145°F.
  • Keep a close eye on the internal temperature as it approaches your desired temperature. The rate at which the temperature increases will accelerate the closer the roast is to being cooked.
  • When you cook for a crowd, the best rule of thumb is to remove your prime rib roast from the oven when it hits 120°F and allow it to rest for about 20 minutes while loosely tented with foil.

Most people prefer rare prime rib. If you target rare, the prime rib roast will be rare in the center and the ends will always be more well done, so you should have a variety for your guests.

Recipe Tip

Allow the roast to sit at room temperature for at least an hour prior to cooking. If the prime rib is taken directly from the refrigerator to the oven, the ends will be cooked much more than the center.

How to Cook Prime Rib in the Oven

Full instructions with ingredient quantities are located in the recipe card below, but here is a summary.

Step 1: Prepare the roast

Prior to cooking, set the roast out for at least an hour to allow the internal temperature to rise a bit. This will promote more even cooking.

Place the roast on a rack in a roasting pan with the fat side facing up. If using a bone-in roast, place the bones underneath the roast. Pour the beef broth and and some of the red wine to the pan.

Meanwhile, mix together a mixture of olive oil, fresh garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Salt with fresh herbs and olive oil for a prime rib roast.

Spread the herb mixture over the top of the roast. Insert a meat thermometer into the center of the roast.

prime rib roast with meat thermometer

Step 2: Roast in oven

Cook the prime rib in a preheated 450°F oven for about 20 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and, without opening the oven door, continue cooking until the desired internal temperature is met and remove the pan from the oven.

oven roasted standing rib roast

Remove the roast from the rack and transfer it to a large plate or cutting board. Loosely tent the roast with aluminum foil to keep it warm while it rests. 

Step 3: Reduce the wine sauce

Finally, you’ll add more wine to the drippings in the pan and reduce the sauce over heat to serve alongside the roast.

Pouring red wine into roasting pan with prime rib roast drippings.

Side Dish Recommendations

I always make horseradish sauce to accompany prime rib. If you’d like an alternative to the wine sauce, you can make a homemade au jus

sliced prime rib roast

FAQs

How do I choose a good prime rib roast?

Look for well-marbled meat with a thick layer of fat on top for added flavor and juiciness. Choose a roast with a bright red color.

What is the best way to carve a prime rib roast?

Slicing the roast is easiest with an electric serrated edge knife.

What kind of wine is best?

Any kind of dry red wine will work. May people choose a red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot for a rich and complementary flavor. I will typically use a Pinot Noir.

Can I prepare the herb crust in advance?

Yes, both can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using.

If you tried this Prime Rib Roast recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below. Thanks for visiting!

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Perfect Prime Rib Roast

Prep20 minutes
Cook2 hours
Resting time20 minutes
Total2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Indulge in culinary perfection with our oven-roasted prime rib, adorned in a tantalizing fresh herb crust and paired with a luscious wine sauce.

Video

Ingredients 

  • 5 pound beef prime rib roast I prefer bone-in where the bones are cut and then tied to the roast, weight can vary, increase herb crust ingredients if size of roast doubles but not wine and broth

Wine sauce:

  • 750 mL red wine one bottle, divided
  • 2 cups beef broth Might need more, see note below

Herb crust:

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Instructions 

  • For best results and even cooking, set roast out at room temperature for at least an hour prior to cooking. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 450°F and ensure top rack is low enough such that the roasting pan will be in the middle of the oven.
  • Prepare roast: Using a roasting pan with a rack, add 2 cups of wine (reserving the rest for later) and the beef broth to the base of the pan. Set the roast in the rack with the fat side up. Insert meat thermometer into center of roast, avoiding contact with the bones.
  • Add herbs: In a separate bowl, mix olive oil, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper and spread this mixture on top of the roast.
  • Roast in oven: Place roasting pan in hot 450°F oven for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 115 to 120°F for medium rare (125 to 130°F after resting), or 125 to 130°F for medium (135 to 140°F after resting). And remember, a roast will continue to rise by 5 to 10°F as it rests. Total cooking time will depend on size of roast and initial temperature. NOTE: Keep an eye on the liquid in the roasting pan as the roast is cooking. If it appears that the liquid is evaporating, add additional beef broth. If all the liquid evaporates, the contents on the bottom of the pan will burn.
  • Rest: Once removed from oven, transfer roast to plate or cutting board, loosely tent with foil, and allow to rest for at least 15-20 minutes. Leave the thermometer inside the roast so you can monitor the temperature.
  • Make red wine sauce: While the roast is resting, Transfer any liquid and drippings from the roasting pan to a saucepan. Add remaining wine, heat until the mixture starts to bubble around the edges, then reduce heat as low as you can to maintain a gentle simmer. When the roast has finished resting, skim off any fat from the wine sauce and serve warm sauce alongside the roast. You may strain this sauce before serving, if desired.
  • Serve: Slice prime rib roast and serve with red wine sauce on the side.

Notes

Serving size is based on dividing a 5 pound roast between 6 people with all of the red wine sauce. Due to the fact that there is a lot of fat that may not be consumed, the nutritional approximation may not be very accurate.
Cooking tips for perfect results:
  • Allow meat to sit at room temperature for at least an hour prior to cooking.
  • Keep a close eye on the internal temperature as it approaches your desired temperature. The rate at which the temperature increases will accelerate the closer the roast is to being cooked.
  • Any kind of dry red wine will work. I will typically use a Pinot Noir.
  • Be sure to let it properly rest if you want a perfectly cooked, tender, juicy roast.
  • A 4-5 pound roast should take approximately two hours to cook. There are many factors impacting total cook time including the size and starting temperature of the roast, the accuracy of your oven temperature, and how consistently your oven cooks.
  • Slicing the roast is easiest with an electric knife.
  • NOTE: Keep an eye on the liquid in the roasting pan as the roast is cooking. If it appears that the liquid is evaporating, add additional beef broth. If all the liquid evaporates, the contents on the bottom of the pan will burn.

Nutrition

Calories: 1289kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 53g, Fat: 105g, Saturated Fat: 43g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 47g, Cholesterol: 229mg, Sodium: 1635mg, Potassium: 1069mg, Fiber: 0.5g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 133IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 61mg, Iron: 7mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

This post was originally published in November 2016 and has been updated with process photos, helpful information, and cooking tips. Don’t worry – I didn’t change the recipe!

Hi! I’m Krissy.

I love to create the BEST versions of your favorite recipes. If you love to cook, love to eat, or just have a deep appreciation for good food, you're in the right place! Stick around... I have hundreds of recipes for you to make.

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174 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have made this prime rib roast over the last 4 or so years on Christmas and/or Easter. I have a large family so someone else either cooks another one or someone cooks a ham. This comes out perfect every time. The only issue I have is that the rosemary coating around the roast either comes off most of it when you remove the twine or it comes off as it’s being served. I think this is the best part of the prime rib. If anyone has found a way to keep most of the rosemary around the roast, please let us know.

    1. I’ve struggled with that in the past as well. The finer I chop the rosemary, the better it seems to stick.

  2. Are you saying a total of two hours including the 450 for 20 minutes? Or excluding the 450 for 20 minutes. Thank you!!!!

    1. I think for that size roast, it took me about 2hrs total without the rest time, but it will depend entirely on the size of your roast and the starting internal temp. It’s always so tricky to get the timing down perfectly!

  3. 5 stars
    Followed your seasoning and roasting recommendation. Cooked two 9-pound prime rib roasts in my home range. Took about 2-1/2 hrs. We had 5 kids and a couple adults who are not rare meat eaters; the rest of us like a rare meat. I put the only constant-read thermometer I own in the roast with ribs attached, and put the other roast in the same pan boneless. This eliminated having to start them at different times or opening the oven too often. I monitored and cooked the “ribbed” roast to an internal temp of 115* and removed both at the same time. Both were perfect — the ribs insulated the monitored roast, and the second boneless rib was also moist and delicious but with slightly less red! Your instructions were easy, complete, and made me confident in the outcome. Outcome made everyone happy!

  4. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe and instructions. I am so glad I finally found a recipe that tells me exactly what to do specifically for the cooking time and temp! My guest and I were very happy with my beautiful prime rib. I am so glad that I took it out at 120 degrees and let it rest. Perfect instructions! Company wasn’t here yet, so put it back an hour later in a warm, 225 degree oven for about 20 minutes with the mashed potatoes that were in the oven staying warm, as well, and it was perfect. It didn’t cook any more but kept it warm under the tent in the same pan with the meat thermometer still in it to make sure the temp was right. It was a beautiful sight, medium rare perfection. I had bought a 13lb prime rib, boneless, but cut 1/3 of it off for two of us. The rest I will freeze and or cut into steaks and freeze for future yummy dinners. Yes, it’s a little more expensive piece of meat, but you get a lot out of it and the texture and taste cannot be beat. Thanks for a great recipe. I will try to pass it on! It’s one that, if you follow it right, cannot be beat! I had never known when to take the meat out and always left it in too long; so this is so much better! It is moist and oh, I forgot to mention, I don’t have wine in the house, but I do have a cooking Marsala that I added a little to the au jus that I put in the pan, too. It was delicious. That was a nice touch.
    I have a piece of prime rib left over that I will probably make a French dip out of with some fresh baguettes tomorrow!
    Thanks again, and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  5. I have used this recipe to cook my Christmas prime rib for 2 years now. If you follow the instructions, you can’t go wrong. It truly is the Perfect Prime Rib.

  6. 5 stars
    Hi Krissy, we have a 10lb bone in. I’ll use the 125-130 temp. Should I just double the ingredients for the coating and what brand of Pinot Noir do you use? i’m grateful for your recipe and the ease of reading. Did I mention I’m a bit rattled with such a large/expensive cut of meat. I appreciate selfproclaimedfoodie.

    1. My roast hit medium internal temp in 45 minutes. Guess there’s something wrong with my oven or my thermometer?? I dropped the temp to 250 and baked the rest of the 1.25 hours, and it was perfect medium rare. The crust is *drool* DELICIOUS! Thx for posting this thorough recipe!

  7. 5 stars
    As you know, prime rib is very expensive, so I don’t want to mess this up! Is there something I can substitute for the dry red wine and still get a wonderful roast?

    1. You can just use beef broth! The main goal is to collect all the drippings without having the herbs and little bits burn in the pan so that you can cook it down and make a glaze or au jus.